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Junior Miss
Deen: I'm starting to get nervous'

By Staff
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT -Meridian Junior Miss Rachael Deen practices the piano as she prepares for the Mississippi Junior Miss program set for the weekend of Aug. 1. Deen will perform a Norwegian piano concerto. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Penny Randall / staff writer
July 7, 2002
From the minute Rachael Deen watched her cousin win the Starkville Junior Miss competition seven years ago, she knew she wanted to do the same thing in Meridian.
Deen, now 17, was chosen as Meridian's Junior Miss in March. Next month, she will contend for the state title in the Mississippi Junior Miss competition at the historic Temple Theatre.
Deen will never forget the moment she was chosen as Meridian's Junior Miss.
Competition nears
Deen has been preparing for weeks for the statewide competition.
Deen and 36 other girls from around Mississippi will compete for the state title in the program set for Aug. 1, 2 and 3.
Contestants are judged on scholastic achievement, panel evaluation, talent, physical fitness and presence and composure.
Hampton Thames of Meridian, the state Junior Miss annual program chairman for the last four years, believes both Deen and Lauderdale County Junior Miss LeAnn Palmer will be strong contenders this year.
Talent and grades
For the talent competition, Deen will perform a Norwegian piano concerto. Deen said the Junior Miss program has helped her develop skills she can use later in life.
Deen said she likes the fact that the Junior Miss program doesn't stress beauty. Instead, she said, she likes the idea that the contest emphasizes a contestant's grades.
Deen's plans for her future include college, where she is considering a career in dentistry.
Her advice to girls wanting to be a part of Junior Miss: "Don't do it because you think you're not going to do well, because you'll surprise yourself. Just believe in yourself and do the best that you can."
Deen who will be a senior this fall at Meridian High School, is a member of the yearbook staff, Image Committee, Spanish Honor Society and National Honor Society.
She has served as president of the school's Anchor Club and is a member of Central United Methodist Church. Deen is the daughter of Amy and Tim Deen.